‘Midway on our life’s journey, I found myself/In dark woods, the right road lost.’ So wrote the 14th Century Poet Dante in his 35th year, words often cited as encapsulating the mid-life crisis. Centuries later, Carl Jung posited the psychological imperative of mid-life transition, asserting that ‘we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the programme of life’s morning.’
Mid-life transition is not technically a mental health diagnosis, though its symptoms may come under the heading of adjustment disorder. It can slip the net of precise definition and yet various thinkers have identified a cluster of common hallmarks. Its very existence may be disputed, yet it resonates with many people’s experience. Some of these people may be our clients.
This course will look at the landscape of mid-life transition: the concept; definitions of its key features and presenting issues; relevance to contemporary context. We will look at a model of understanding that emerges as a way of containing and working with midlife transition in counselling. We will explore the therapeutic task facing the mid-olescent, in responding to this life-stage creatively. We will also look at the distinctions between a mid-life crisis versus transition, and to what extent the mid-life lens offers a useful approach in facilitating work with clients.
This workshop will give you:
– Understanding of mid-life transition
– Identification of its key issues and themes
– A working framework for its definition
– Opportunity to appraise its application to client work
– Therapeutic tasks for the middlescent client
About the Speaker:
Julia McGuinness is a counsellor (MBACP Accred), writer and writing therapist based in the North West. She has a long-standing interest in mid-life transition – having made an ‘early’ one herself – which precipitated her own counselling training and subsequent writing of her book Making the Most of Midlife (SPCK 2006)
Initially an English teacher, she re-trained as a counsellor, gaining a Post-Grad Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling from Leicester University in 2001. She has worked in a GP Surgery and with various Employee Assistance Schemes and Charitable Trusts, alongside private clients.
Over the last decade she has combined her love of words and nurturing others in encouraging writing for creativity and well-being in herself and others.
All art images are reproduced with the kind permission of Patricia Fitzgerald of Healing Creations. https://www.healingcreations.ie/